It is hardly the route that Lance Lynn sets out to take each game, nor is it what the Cardinals mean when they seek greater consistency from their third-year starter, yet there it was again Tuesday. The righty fell behind, slogged through the early innings, bought time for the offense to rally, and then, despite the detours, finished at a familiar destination.
Been there. Still won that.

For the second time in as many starts this season, both of them against Cincinnati, charmed starter Lynn allowed three runs in the first inning, and this time he never threw a pitch with the lead. But he’s got the win each time. The Cardinals rallied twice Tuesday, once from a four-run deficit, to take a 7-5 victory against the Reds at Busch Stadium. An offense that found numerous ways to score runs provided for a pitcher who, in his career, has benefited from numerous runs.

“It’s a beautiful thing,” said Lynn (2-0). “A win is a win. That’s the best part about it, I guess.”

The Cardinals’ first consecutive wins of this season assured them of a series victory against the Reds going into this afternoon’s finale. The Cardinals have won 11 of the past 12 series against Cincinnati at Busch III, and since 2003 the Cardinals, while at home, have taken 26 of 31 series from their National League Central Division rivals. Their ability to score when Lynn takes the mound has been just as reliable.

As they did for him last week in Cincinnati, the Cardinals erased an early deficit, and they did so by showing the renaissance offense they hope to have this season. In a blend of power and speed, the Cardinals overcame a 4-0 deficit and a 5-4 score before adding on late.

Yadier Molina started their scoring with his third homer of the season, and from there it was depth on parade. No. 2 hitter Kolten Wong had a two-run triple to tie the score for his first big-league RBIs. Peter Bourjos, the eight-hole hitter, scored twice and had three hits, including a late RBI single for his first as a Cardinal. And No. 3 hitter Matt Holliday drove a two-run double off the right-field wall – a shot that echoed one from the 2011 World Series – to give the Cardinals a lead they wouldn’t lose.

The only starter in the order who didn’t reach base was Allen Craig, whose zero-for-five night deepened his slow start, and three different Cardinals scored twice.

“You saw it with Yadi leading off with a home run and then we put together pretty good at-bats and scored some runs a lot of different ways,” said Bourjos, who has five hits in nine at-bats after arriving at Busch hitless in 13 at-bats to start the season. “You could see the innings that got started in all different ways – hits, walks, what have you. … There are so many different ways to score runs. If we’re putting pressure on the defense and the pitching, eventually you’re going to break through and get some runs.”

It is what they usually do when Lynn gets the start.

Lynn has benefited throughout his career from generous teammates. In the past two seasons, the Cardinals have averaged more than five runs in his starts. In 32 of Lynn’s 66 big-league starts, the Cardinals have now scored six runs for him. As a team, they’ve only lost three of those 32. Though he fell behind 4-0 and then gave up a go-ahead run shortly after his teammates had tied it, Lynn lasted through six innings and the Cardinals did what they do – took the lead just after he departed the game.